I just posted this wee note on Dylan’s blog which I found fascinating. Now to catch up with the rest of this thread.
Okay, well for context then, here is the response I posted there:
As far as I can tell the ASA seems to be quite specific that #ad is for “paid” tweet. I’m not sure anyone is actually paying for tweets in NZ, but it’s possible I guess. In general I think as long as there isn’t a pre-arranged expectation of promotion or, especially, an agreement about the nature of that promotion this is just run of the mill PR/marketing – give things to people you think will like them and hope they talk about them.
Perhaps this is all a bit like pornography, we know it when we see it? None of the tweets I saw felt especially “addy” to me.
As for the TV show – well that would be telling, but a little Googling will probably reveal, I have done a reasonable bit of publicity around it and I’m the most prolific Dylan Reeve on the internet :)
And for completeness, the post on Cate's blog in question is on personal branding online...
You’re being paid for the potential.
Potential. But it’s a potential that is realised with enough consistency that it can be counted on as real.
But you don’t control it. If you’re not careful it can backfire. Pick the right product for the right people. Like Paul said it’s their attention and time you’re ‘paying’ for, not specifically the end result.
I got invited to many movie previews when I was writing a widely circulated newsletter thingy – I liked going, and I appreciated the invites, but I still gave poor reviews to the shitty films. If they hadn’t invited me I’d have written nothing, but by inviting me they also risked that I’d write something that they didn’t like.
This could have gone a similar way I guess – if the recipes had been too complex or some of the ingredients not up to scratch then we’d be seeing disappointed tweets instead. The only control PR have over that is matching product to people well, and ensuring product is top quality.
As a note – we used to ensure we put a “Brislen travelled to Fantasy Land courtesy of Giant Conglomerate Corporation” disclaimers on every such story – that’s should go without saying but not all newspapers or TV networks are so up front about it
And that does tend to imply that some sort of editorial influence may have been exerted or that your opinions may be coloured. I think it's better without that to be honest. Assuming that the person in question has integrity.
A while ago Canon NZ spent a fair bit of money bringing video camera demigod Philip Bloom to NZ to demo their new high-end video camera to a room full of local TV and video types. He basically started off by focusing on the negatives of the product, it was pretty clear he was being honest in his assessment and it reflected really well on him and Canon, at least in my opinion.
It was actually pitched to Seven Sharp, but they didn’t see a story in it. Fair enough.
Oh, but we could have had a live in studio cooking demo...
"How's that lamb coming Jesse?"
"Hahaha, it's great Greg, I hope you like it rare, and by rare I mean raw"
Yeah, someone gives you something free, they are paying you – for the potential to market their business. You’re being paid with goods or services, and you may value those goods or services at less than their effective price.
This was the crux, mostly, of the Twitter-splosion that happened on Monday night.
Given that there was no specific obligation to Tweet at all, or in any specific way, I can't see it as being 'paid'. The core thing here is that the PR people are doing their job well by sending a good product to people who are likely to like it and are, in general, the sort who will share their thoughts in realtime about anything new and interesting in their lives.
The very same people who tweeted about their free My Food Bag also regularly tweet about services, businesses and products they pay for.
One of Drinnan's comments on Twitter was directed at Damian Christie and asked whether he was given one because of his Twittering or because he was a TVNZ personality. The clear answer is the former because giving him one on the hopes that he'd mention it on One News would be absurd.
The art of PR, in a Twitter age, is getting good products into the hands of people who'll like them and are pre-disposed to tweeting about everything they do.
I'd be interested to know who the ingredient value compares to having same things delivered from Countdown for example. If anyone has the information necessary to make such a comparison.
$179 for five ‘family’ dinners seems to be right on the high side of things
It's only $8.95 a serve if you're feeding four, or $7.16 if you're feeding five. It's a little pricey, but would probably still fit in the "budget meals" category of many popular cooking magazines etc.
I think a good next step would be MyFoodBags for bachelors and bachelors-at-heart.
Actually that would be a pretty good expansion, when I used to live alone in the city it was a huge pain in the ass cooking for myself. Hard to shop easily for one, hard to find recipes well suited to one.
I suspect the Food Bag hits the spot for a bunch of time poor professional types with a decent disposable income and faith in their abilities as a home gourmet. The people who own dozens of cookbooks (including everything that Ramsay and Oliver have ever released) but never have the time to plan recipes and shop for everything they need. It's something I'd be into were it not for the three kids and trying to stick to a pretty modest food budget.
Also Christie's duck looks AMAZING!
Sadly he's right about TVNZ's responsibilities in that respect though. With no charter anymore TVNZ has only one obligation and that is profit and it's shareholder has made it clear in the past that it expect to extract the highest dividend possible.
We still tend to see TVNZ as "our broadcaster" which it sort of is, but only in the sense that we own it. It has no obligation to to give us content that we may deem of greater value than the commercially successful programs it currently offers us. In fact quite the reverse, given it's Number One position among broadcasters and the priority on returning a dividend it's even less likely to take chances on programming.
Unfortunately the CEO and board of TVNZ, to some extent, probably have less freedom than those of a purely commercial broadcaster might.